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An Environmental History of the Civil War$
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Judkin Browning and Timothy Silver

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469655383

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469655383.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Death and Disability

Death and Disability

Spring 1864–Fall 1864

Chapter:
(p.133) Five Death and Disability
Source:
An Environmental History of the Civil War
Author(s):

Judkin Browning

Timothy Silver

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469655383.003.0006

This chapter discusses the environmental effects of death, and what happens when a corpse becomes part of the natural environment. Bodies decomposed rapidly, producing an unbearable stench. It led both armies to develop techniques for burial, embalming, and transportation of the dead to prevent sickness. The Overland Campaign—especially the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and the Crater—and its extraordinary number of casualties, is the primary military focus. The chapter also discusses the advancements in medical care to treat wounded soldiers. Large numbers of disabled men had environmental effects as well, such as fewer acres of farmland due to the loss of labor, and expensive government policies to provide pensions for the disabled after the war.

Keywords:   death, amputation, wound, embalming, Overland campaign, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, medical care

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